Telkom Business is making the power of artificial intelligence (AI) available to SMMEs. The company today announced that users of its YEP! business portal for SMMEs will now have access to innovative tools for reputation management and social marketing. Each tool comes in a Standard (free) version, while the added functionality in the Pro version includes powerful AI.
Keneilwe Gwabeni, Chief Information Officer at Telkom Business, says that the two tools provide SMMEs with the ability to refine their online presence in order to grow their businesses.
“The online world is the best way for SMMEs to reach new customers and grow their brands, but it is an unforgiving environment that requires a lot of time and energy to get right,” she says. “Making these tools available gives our YEP! users a better way to market themselves, and also to keep track of how they are doing. This offering adds significant value to SMMEs working to establish and grow their businesses—and, of course, adding AI to the mix makes it much more powerful.”
YEP!’s social marketing tool makes it easy for users to plan, schedule and publish content on a range of social media platforms in one place—and to respond to comments timeously. The tool is available in two versions. The free Standard version allows up to 20 posts to be managed for Facebook and Google Business, with post-performance and social audience analytics.
The Pro version allows an unlimited number of posts to be managed on the same platforms, as well as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Pro also offers link tracking, customer posts, leads, RSS fees, tagging in posts and a clickable bio for Instagram.
A major benefit of the Pro version is the built-in artificial intelligence (AI) that assists users to craft effective content rapidly. “Content is everything in the cluttered social media space, and next-generation AI is a powerful tool to make generating compelling content quicker and easier,” Gwabeni says.
Once an SMME is undertaking social marketing, it also needs a way of assessing how well it is doing on the various platforms—reputations are fragile and can be rapidly compromised in this fast-moving world, Gwabeni continues. The Standard reputation management tool provides a way to manage reviews on Facebook, Google and My Listing easily, respond to reviews in-line, and analyse sentiment and statistics. It also generates a daily digest e-mail and executive report.
The Pro version extends this functionality to include citations, listings statistics, competitor analysis, mentions, and social monitoring. It also makes use of AI to deliver deep analysis of the data to aid in better decision making.
Gwabeni says that the reputation management tool provides a way for SMMEs to identify problems on all platforms so they can be addressed. She says that YEP! has seen clients achieve huge benefits from basic management of the information on platforms, with one client realising a 5 000% increase in clicks over a two-year period.
YEP! has been helping SMMEs use technology effectively for several years. “Over the six years we have been using YEP! (Yellowpages), our business has grown and the returns on our Google marketing campaigns have gotten better every year,“ says Sheryl Casalis, Added Advantage Academy. Total Services is another company that lauds the impact of YEP!, calling out the way its campaigns are managed on the platform: “I would highly recommend YEP! to anyone that needs a Google AdWords campaign,” says a company representative.
“Social media is an essential tool for smaller businesses, with 77% using it to build brand awareness, facilitate customer service and increase revenue. YEP! is making it easier for them to harness the power of social media despite limited resources,” she says. “SMMEs have a pivotal role to play in driving macro-economic growth and creating the jobs we so desperately need, and helping them to access technology like this is key to their success.”